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MSC Southeast News and Events

News and Events

Keeping you in touch with MSC Southeast

Truck driving couple on the road to success

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David and Pam McKenzie

David and Pam McKenzie

Published 10/31/2011

A decent salary, flexible scheduling, and the opportunity to see all 48 states are high on the list of job perks for Southeast Technical truck driving graduates David and Pam McKenzie. But if you are among the classes of current students David and Pam meet with as guest speakers, you’ll notice a much less tangible benefit as they talk about life on the road: they are genuinely happy in their new careers.

David and Pam, who both drive for Cedar Rapids Steel Transport (CRST), light up when telling their story. Prior to enrolling in Southeast Technical’s truck driving program, David held various contractor jobs in the Winona area, while Pam worked for the local school district’s Key Kids program and as a kindergarten aid. When the economy tanked and David became unemployed, they knew they needed to make a change.

“I knew about the truck driving program at Southeast Tech because I saw the school’s trucks driving around town,” David, a long-time Winonan, notes. “My uncle taught me how to drive a truck back in the ’80s, but it wasn’t practical for me back then since I had a family. With the kids out of the house now, it makes more sense.”

David enrolled in Southeast Technical’s eight-week truck driving program in 2009, and after graduating and easily finding a job in the field, he convinced Pam to give it a try in 2010.

“It took me a little while to get the hang of it,” Pam admits, “but the instructors were really patient with me.”

The quality of Southeast Technical’s truck driving instructors is something David also cites as a major advantage, in addition to the program’s eight-week length versus other programs that run for only two-weeks and provide little behind-the-wheel training.

“I took the program at Southeast Tech because it was local, but after I graduated, I realized how good it was,” David explains. “Working with drivers who only go through a two-week program, I wonder how they learn everything.”

Now with some training duties at CRST, David helps new drivers catch up on their basic skills, and that’s why he’s such a strong advocate for Southeast Technical’s program. “You’ll get a big head start compared to other drivers,” he says. “The instructors are great and really care about making you a safe driver.”

After their typical four to six weeks on the road, David and Pam enjoy using some of their time off to visit with current truck driving students at Southeast Technical. The one message that students hear loud and clear is that by putting in some hard work up front, they’re sure to succeed.

“You’re going to learn at Southeast Tech,” Pam says. “And in this industry, you’ll have a job no matter what happens to the economy.”


Greg Cady Master of Ceremonies at U.S. Navy Event

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Greg2Southeast Technical Instructor, Greg Cady, served as Master of Ceremonies, Saturday, October 15, 2011 at a ceremony in Rochester where a top neurosurgeon from the Mayo Clinic was commissioned into the United States Navy. Cady has served his country in the U.S. Navy since 1985 and came to Southeast Technical in 2007 to develop the college's first Criminal Justice program leading in its development and serving as an instructor since that time. Learn more about the commissioning event by following the KAAL TV News link


Radiography students promote breast cancer awareness

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Students in Southeast Technical's Radiography program will be providing information on breast cancer, mammographies, and the role a radiographer plays in breast health Wednesday, Oct. 26, and Thursday, Oct. 27, in the Winona campus student center area between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Stop by for information, pink ribbons, cookies, and pink lemonade.

Did you know?

  • The chance of a woman having invasive breast cancer some time during her life is a little less than 1 in 8.
  • The chance of dying from breast cancer is about 1 in 35 or about 39,520 deaths during 2011.
  • Women breast cancer death rates have been going down. This is probably the result of finding the cancer earlier and better treatment.
  • In 2011, among men, about 2,140 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed. About 450 men will die from breast cancer.

(Statistics provided by the American Cancer Society)

Jewelry students craft MnSCU Chancellor's medallion

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medallionStudents in Southeast Technical's Jewelry Manufacturing & Repair program played a special role in MnSCU Chancellor Steven Rosenstone's recent installation. They helped instructor Todd Hawkinson create a 4-inch 24 karat gold plated medallion presented to the chancellor during the recent installation ceremony. 

Nursing programs announce NLNAC accreditation visit

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Minnesota State College - Southeast Technical Nursing Programs wish to announce that the college will host a site review for initial accreditation of its PN and AD Nursing Programs. You are invited to meet the visit team and share your comments about the program in person at a meeting scheduled for Wednesday, November 2, 2011, from 2:30-3:30 p.m. in Room 205 on the Winona campus.

Written comments are also welcome and should be submitted directly to: Dr. Sharon Tanner, Chief Executive Officer, 3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850 Atlanta, GA 30326 or email sjtanner@nlnac.org. All written comments should arrive at NLNAC by October 20.

New dates for 2012 graduation ceremonies

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Southeast Technical's graduation dates at both campuses have changed due to circumstances beyond our control. The following changes have been made:

  • Red Wing campus graduation will be held Thursday, May 3, at Treasure Island Casino, 7:00 p.m.
  • Winona campus graduation will be held Monday, May 7, at Winona State University, 7:00 p.m.

Further information will be sent out after the first of the year.

Household items drive to benefit domestic abuse victims

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In recognition of October as Domestic Abuse Awareness month, the Red Wing Student Senate will hold a drive for household items October 17 through October 28. Donated items will be delivered to the Women's Center in Red Wing.

Examples of items that are needed include silverware, dishes, alarm clocks, cleaning supplies, and toiletries. A box for donations is located near the Student Senate office in the commons area. Thank you for your donation!

Middle Eastern theology expert to speak on jihad

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The WSU Inclusion and Diversity Office, WSU International Services Office, Dr. Tammy Swenson Lepper’s CMST 291 Class, Southeast Technical College, Anoka Ramsey Community College, and the WSU Muslim Student Association present Everything You Wanted to Know About Jihad but Were Too Afraid to Ask with guest speaker Sheikh Odeh Muhawesh. Further details are available below.

  • Topic: Everything You Wanted to Know About Jihad but Were Too Afraid to Ask
  • Date: Tuesday, October 18, 2011
  • Location & Time: Winona State University, East Hall – 7:00 p.m.
  • Co-Sponsored by: WSU Inclusion and Diversity Office, WSU International Services Office, Dr. Tammy Swenson Lepper’s CMST 291 Class, Southeast Technical College, Anoka Ramsey Community College, and the WSU Muslim Student Association
  • Free and Open to the Public
  • Guest Speaker: Sheikh Odeh Muhawesh

About Sheikh Odeh Muhawesh

Sheikh Odeh A. Muhawesh is a well-known theologian and successful business leader. Mr. Muhawesh founded several very successful businesses over the course of 26 years, establishing a strong record of growing revenue and developing competitive products for software and professional services companies. As a specialist in theology and modern Middle East history, Mr. Muhawesh teaches these subjects at the University of St. Thomas, where he is an associate of the Muslim-Christian Dialogue Center. He is the author of several books and studies that are published in several languages around the world. Mr. Muhawesh is an accomplished speaker, and is frequently interviewed by global media to speak about the above subjects. Mr. Muhawesh hails from the highly reputable tribe of Daaja of Jordan, which traces its roots to Prince Mahdawi.

A Note from Sheikh Odeh Muhawesh

Owing to uninformed people not taking care to educate themselves, the term “jihad” has become a dirty word in the U.S. The reality is that any person struggling to better themselves as a result of their love for God is engaging in jihad—this is the greater jihad (struggle). When I admit that the lesser form of jihad, war, is a definition of “jihad” too, you may want to tell me, “I told you so.” But the fact is, it’s just about 100% certain that you would not be able to tell me even one true statement about the war jihad. Jihad in the media and jihad in the hands of uninformed Muslims is so far removed from the terms of true jihad that you would be flabbergasted upon hearing the truth.

Check out the new online bookstore!

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The Southeast Technical bookstore is excited to launch its new online home at www.southeastmn.edu/bookstore. The new site aims to help students more efficiently make online textbook purchases, find purchasing information, and learn about in-store promotions. The new site will also allow users to purchase Southeast Technical-branded merchandise online in the near future!

Be sure to check out the new bookstore homepage to learn how to receive 20% off your next in-store clothing purchase!

Breast cancer awareness events held Oct. 10-14 in Winona

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The Winona campus Student Senate is partnering with the American Cancer Society to raise awareness for breast cancer. Throughout the week of October 10-14, students can participate in several different activities to help promote the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Winona 5K Walk, which will be held October 15. Please attend at least one of these activities and learn more about how to get involved.

Making Strides Breast Cancer Walk Activity Week
October 10-14

  • Monday: Bake Sale
  • Tuesday: Remembrance Day!
  • Wednesday: Ribbons & Pink hair extensions
  • Thursday: Informational Day
  • Friday: Sign up for the Making Strides Breast Cancer Walk

Former NFL-er to speak on National Coming Out Day

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The WSU Inclusion and Diversity Office, WSU International Services Office, WSU GLBTA, Southeast Technical College, and Anoka Ramsey Community College present Alone in the Trenches: My Life as a Gay Man in the NFL with guest speaker Esera Tuaolo. The event will be held in recognition of National Coming Out Day. Further details are available below.

  • Topic: Alone in the Trenches: My Life as a Gay Man in the NFL
  • Date: Tuesday, October 11, 2011
  • Location & Time: Winona State University, East Hall, 7:00 p.m.
  • Sponsored by: WSU Inclusion and Diversity Office, WSU International Services Office, Southeast Technical College, Anoka Ramsey Community College and WSU GLBTA
  • Free and Open to the Public
  • Guest Speaker: Esera Tuaolo

A Note from Esera Tuaolo

During my nine years in the NFL, I lived that close to the edge of destruction. My success tormented me. The better I did the more exposure I received, the more exposure; the greater the chance of someone discovering my secret. A secret that a man who plays the most macho of team sports is not supposed to have. The stress nearly killed me.

I am a Samoan who grew up in Hawaii. My family lived in a hut with a dirt floor. I'd gone from that poverty to the fortunes of the NFL. Football gave me a college scholarship, the chance to buy a house for my mother, the opportunity to travel, and much more. My NFL career lasted nine years with five teams—the Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Jacksonville Jaguars, Atlanta Falcons, and Carolina Panthers. I'll go down in history as the first player to sing the national anthem and then start an NFL game, the first rookie nose guard to start all sixteen games, and the last guy to "tackle" John Elway in his storied Hall of Fame career.

The dream to succeed in the NFL and achieve all that football had to offer was at times a nightmare. I struggled to survive the combative, macho world dominated by a culture that despised who I really am. Had opponents and teammates known I was gay, they would have mocked me the way I heard them ridicule others with sexual slurs. More than likely—as several former teammates admitted—they would have tried to injure me so that they would not have been viewed as guilty by association.

In other words, they would have taken me out so that their own masculinity would not be questioned for playing alongside a sissy. It's rough down in the trenches, where linemen weighing more than three-hundred pounds hurl themselves at one another in brutal hand-to-hand combat, but it is nothing compared to the pain I kept buried inside so I could play out my dream. This is the story of how I dared to dream, not only of surviving professional football, but of living openly for who I am, a gay man.

SE-Tech jewelry instructor exhibiting at Red Wing festival

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Southeast Technical Jewelry Manufacturing & Repair instructor Todd Hawkinson will be exhibiting at the Red Wing Art Festival this weekend, Oct. 8 and 9. Hawkinson, who specializes in reproducing vintage Art Nouveau jewelry, will be displaying his own personal work and will be available to answer questions about the college's jewelry program.

© 2018 Minnesota State College Southeast

RED WING CAMPUS | 308 Pioneer Road | Red Wing, MN 55066 | 651-385-6300
WINONA CAMPUS | 1250 Homer Road | Winona, MN 55987 | 507-453-2700

Minnesota State College Southeast is an affirmative action/equal opportunity educator and employer. ADA accessible. MSC Southeast is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination in employment and education opportunity. No person shall be discriminated against in the terms and conditions of employment, personnel practices, or access to and participation in, programs, services, and activities with regard to race, sex, color, creed, religion, age, national origin, disability, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, or sexual orientation. In addition, discrimination in employment base on membership or activity in a local commission as defined by law is prohibited.


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